Eating in England and France, Part 1

Sorry for the long hiatus between blogs, but I've been traveling through England and France with my 86-year-old mother. I didn't manage to document every single meal I ate over the three week span, but I photographed a few.

I grew up spending every other summer in England, staying with various family members, and exploring London, where my mother was raised. But the last time I visited was over 30 years ago. Of my mom's original five brothers and sisters, only one of each is left. We spent time with both of them during this trip.

My aunt lives in the tiny village of Wadenhoe, about two hours north of London. Her thatched cottage sits directly across the street from The King's Head pub (pictured above) where we ate several lunches and one memorable dinner. Although the food is fairly simple, everything we had was very fresh and tasty. For dinner, I selected the goat cheese tart: a circle of crisp pastry topped with caramelized onions and a round of aged goat's cheese. The tart was fabulous, the sweet onions complementing the tangy cheese. On the side were perfectly roasted new potatoes and a small arugula salad.

Another day, we threw together a marvelous salad of our own. This creation featured crispy bacon, spicy greens, baby tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, steamed asparagus, and a tower of sliced avocado in the center. My aunt insisted that every salad needs a tower of avocado in order to look sufficiently impressive. Being a lover of avocado, she got no argument from me.

On one of our day trips, we visited nearby Stamford. This picturesque and historic town harbors the George Hotel, where travelers have been resting and refueling since the days when horses pulled carriages. We ate in the garden room, a stunning, plant-filled indoor space. For lunch, I sampled a delicious salad composed of duck confit, persimmons, walnut halves, and mixed baby greens. The duck was cold, and so tender it fell right off the bone. 

Near the end of our stay, we spent a day in Cambridge. The highlight was a guided punt on the river Cam. Our guide, Dom, was a fount of knowledge about the colleges and history. He spoke for 45 minutes, barely taking a breath, while he effortlessly propelled the boat. We enjoyed every moment. After the punt, we ate lunch at Brown's. I forgot to photograph my lunch, but the grey mullet was scrumptious over new potatoes, bacon, and samphire. (The latter is a unique veggie I had never sampled before--sort of a cross between skinny asparagus spears and salty seaweed. I loved it!)


  1. Shakespeare mentions samphire in King Lear. I remember your Uncle Hugh telling me that many years ago as, being an uncultured northerner, I'd never heard of it. Cynthia


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